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Boise State vs. San Diego State College Basketball Odds, Picks and Predictions: How to Bet Critical Mountain West Clash (Saturday, Jan. 22)

Boise State vs. San Diego State College Basketball Odds, Picks and Predictions: How to Bet Critical Mountain West Clash (Saturday, Jan. 22) article feature image

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Brian Dutcher (SDSU)

  • Boise State travels to vaunted Viejas Arena to take on the San Diego State Aztecs.
  • The Broncos have won 11 games in a row, while the Aztecs recently beat down Colorado State at home.
  • Anthony Dabbundo explains where he is leaning for this showdown.

Boise State vs. San Diego State Odds

Saturday, Jan. 22
9:30 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
Boise State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-110o / -110u
San Diego State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Don’t look now, but Boise State has won 12 consecutive games and is 5-0 in the Mountain West. The Broncos appear to be finally fulfilling the potential that they underachieved each of the past two seasons.

But now, Boise State will have its toughest test of conference play yet: a road trip to San Diego State, where so many Mountain West conference title dreams have gone to die with losses to the Aztecs in recent seasons.

San Diego State was last seen annihilating Colorado State by 30 at home two weeks ago, but has since been in a COVID-19 pause and hasn’t played since Jan. 8. There will never be a better chance for the Broncos to knock off SDSU, given their length inside and ability to defend at an elite rate.

The major question is whether the Broncos can score on an elite SDSU defense on the road. Let’s dive into the matchup.

Boise State Broncos

Boise State trailed nearly wire-to-wire on Wednesday in Logan against Utah State. However, consecutive 3s by Emmanuel Akot to tie the game in the final minute and a trey by Marcus Shaver Jr. to win the game in the final second propelled the Broncos to an impressive MWC road win.

Just a week ago, Boise State came off of a two-week COVID pause and blitzed Nevada with an 85-70 win in Reno. The Broncos avoided letdowns with wins against New Mexico and Air Force, but I’m a bit concerned with fatigue now for Boise.

This will be the Broncos’ fifth game in 10 days, the fourth of those five on the road. They won at “The Pit” in New Mexico and went to Logan at elevation — two elite home courts in college basketball — in the last week.

And Viejas Arena is a notoriously difficult place to play, as the Aztecs have lost just twice at home in conference play in the last two years (UNLV in 2019, Colorado State in 2020).

San Diego State’s defense isn’t a good matchup for anyone. But it’s hard to see how Boise scores consistently here unless its shooting well from the perimeter.

I was on high on the Broncos’ offense improving in the half-court as Tyson Degenhart continued his breakout freshman season. He’s cooled off a bit, but this offense is still way too reliant on isolation and has too many turnover issues to consistently produce in the half-court.

If you let the Broncos run, they can be very dangerous, but San Diego State has recently improved its defensive rebounding and will turn over Boise. Also, isolation pull-up shots off the dribble is not how you beat the Aztecs.

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San Diego State Aztecs

San Diego State totally dominated Colorado State for three reasons. The Rams had their worst shooting game of the season, SDSU dominated the glass and most importantly, Matt Bradley proved he could be an efficient scorer.

SDSU’s offense was broken for portions of the non-conference, as the Aztecs couldn’t replace the loss of Jordan Schakel and Matt Mitchell. Bradley was supposed to fill in as a premier scorer, but had been anything but.

It’s unclear if the COVID pause will throw off the Aztecs’ offense, but you’d expect the defensive intensity to remain. SDSU has been a bit fortunate defensively — the Aztecs rank in the top 20 in defending the 3-point line and teams have been really bad at making free throws against them.

SDSU isn’t particularly long, so you would expect to see teams shoot a little better from deep against it.

Meanwhile, free-throw defense is entirely random, and the Aztecs have been very lucky this year defensively based on those metrics.

Boise could run hot from the perimeter and keep this game relatively competitive, but for two teams that are challenged offensively on the perimeter, there’s a lot more holes in the Boise interior defense.

Boise State vs. San Diego State Betting Pick

Any potential impact of the COVID-19 pause on the number in this spot for San Diego State is neutralized when you consider that this is the fifth game in 10 days for Boise State.

Playing four games on the road in such a short span is hard on any team, but there’s no more difficult conference to pull that off than the Mountain West, where travel is long and elevation is significant.

Boise has done well to get to 5-0 in conference play and grab an early conference lead, but this is a classic spot where SDSU shows at home why its been the dominant force in this conference for multiple seasons.

Colorado State came to Viejas and wilted against the Aztecs’ elite defense, and that was a better matchup on paper than this Boise offense is.

There will be too many turnovers, too much isolation ball and not enough consistent perimeter shooting for Boise to stay in this game. The Aztecs will exploit a good Boise defense on the interior that does have some regression coming in key areas.

I’d play SDSU at 5 or better, even off of the COVID-19 pause. I also think if the Aztecs do see some defensive perimeter shooting regression in this game and Boise can find success from deep, it should go over the total.

Pick: San Diego State -4.5 (-5 or better)

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